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Download your Blue Screen of Death - from Microsoft

Wizard wheeze of a sysadmin tease

Security for virtualized datacentres

Who says Microsoft has not got broad shoulders. Witness this neat little app - BlueScreen Saver 3.2 - available for download from Microsoft's very own website.

Microsoft Blue Screen Saver of Death - partial screenshot of MS site

As the blurb says…

One of the most feared colors in the NT world is blue. The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) will pop up on an NT system whenever something has gone terribly wrong. Bluescreen is a screen saver that not only authentically mimics a BSOD, but will simulate startup screens seen during a system boot.

• On NT 4.0 installations it simulates chkdsk of disk drives with errors!

• On Win2K and Windows 9x it presents the Win2K startup splash screen, complete with rotating progress band and progress control updates!

• On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 it present the XP/Server 2003 startup splash screen with progress bar!

Bluescreen cycles between different Blue Screens and simulated boots every 15 seconds or so. Virtually all the information shown on Bluescreen's BSOD and system start screen is obtained from your system configuration - its accuracy will fool even advanced NT developers. For example, the NT build number, processor revision, loaded drivers and addresses, disk drive characteristics, and memory size are all taken from the system Bluescreen is running on.

Use Bluescreen to amaze your friends and scare your enemies!

Bluescreen runs on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 9x (it requires DirectX).

Could it be that Microsoft has developed an unexpectedly wry sense of humor? Or maybe it just wants to get its back on whiney sysadmins - (what the hell are they still doing with NT, anyway)

Or then again, perhaps Microsoft is not entirely self-aware. In July, the company bought Sysinternals, the author of useful utilities such as "run a command on a network machine" or "output an event log as a CSV file". All Sysinternals utilities are now available for download on Microsoft's Technet site - including, since November 1, the venerable BlueScreen Saver.

We suspect this heirloom app won't stick around for long. But in the meantime ... good work, fellas! ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Steve - or is it Philip? - Cass for the pointer.

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